Mailing lists for TOPCAT and friends

Note: mailing list web access

Jan 2014: recent security changes at Bristol University mean that non-Bristol users are not able to access the mailing list website. That means to subscribe or unsubscribe you need to send email to the server as described below. It also means that you can't examine the archive of old messages. I'm not very happy about that, but there's not much I can do - sorry. I may investigate other mailing list hosts.

Feb 2014: I have slurped all the messages sent to date on the mailing lists into one big text file per list, linked below. I have munged email addresses to foil spammers. You can download this and use your browser's Search function or grep it to maybe find relevant posts. This is a rather low tech solution, but may be better than nothing. Any attachments are not included, and this isn't currently being automatically updated with new messages, I can supply additional info on request.

List usage

The following mailing lists are available for TOPCAT, STILTS and STIL:
Discussion list for users of the software. Users, potential users, developers and other interested parties are encouraged to use this to post questions, answers, bug reports, feature requests, comments, tips, experiences etc related to TOPCAT, STILTS or STIL. I sometimes also use this to float ideas and gather feedback about future directions of the software.
Plain text archive: topcat-user archive (~1Mb)
Low-volume read-only list for announcements of new releases and other news items.
Plain text archive: plain text archive (~20kb)

You can subscribe to either or both of these lists by sending a message with the Subject line "subscribe topcat-user" or "subscribe topcat-announce" to To unsubscribe, write "unsubscribe" in the Subject line instead.

It is possible to send messages to topcat-user without being subscribed to it. There are two drawbacks: first the message will only appear on the list when I see it, rather than automatically and immediately (so if I'm away there may be a delay). Second, you may not see all the responses, though I will try to CC replies direct to unsubscribed posters.

I will monitor the topcat-user list, and in most cases I would expect to post a reply to queries on the same day, unless another list user beats me to it. One reason for introducing this list is so that users can benefit from each others' experiences, and so that responses I make to queries can be seen by other readers (either at the time or in the list archive) who may be experiencing similar issues or thinking along similar lines. Another is so that I can gather opinions about future directions for the software from the user community.

I am still happy to respond to personal emails related to the software if you're more comfortable with that for any reason, but if the discussion might be illuminating to other users, consider mailing to the list rather than to me directly.

Mark Taylor -- Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, Bristol University,